Dogs find chewing bones very pleasurable. Besides, it helps with boredom and releases endorphins, which are the hormones of happiness. 

Bones can be very nutritious, too. They’re rich in fat, calcium, and the meat is full of protein. Also, chewing is good for canine teeth, as it removes the plaque and helps reduce tartar buildup.

So, can dogs eat rib bones? What about other types of bones? Read all about it below:

Bones — Do’s and Don’ts

It’s best to stick to some basic rules.

Do the following when giving dogs rib bones or any other bone:

  • Feed your furry pal raw meaty bones. They’re a great alternative but stay cautious — if the bones are too hard, that could damage your dog’s teeth. 
  • Give them to your dog after a meal. Your pet shouldn’t be hungry when you treat it to a bone, as it might chew it quickly and hurt itself. 
  • Keep track of time. Dogs shouldn’t be eating rib bones for more than 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Throw it out. Bacteria can grow in the bone, and your dog might develop intestinal problems. It’s best to prevent that by throwing the bone after three to four days. 
  • Find the right size. If you don’t know how big of a bone your dog should eat, compare it to its muzzle. It should always be bigger than that to prevent your dog from swallowing it whole at once.  
  • Check your dog. After you give it a bone, take a look from time to time to make sure everything’s fine.

Don’t do this when giving dogs rib bones or other bones:

  • Avoid high-fat bones. Dogs can’t handle a lot of saturated fat, which puts them at risk of developing pancreatitis. Watch out for signs like vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and a lack of appetite.
  • Can dogs eat cooked rib bones? No! They might even be dangerous. Cooked bones lack nutrients and can split into shards that might harm your dog’s intestines. 
  • Don’t break a bone into small pieces. It’s very dangerous. These tiny bits create a major choking hazard and can puncture your pet’s mouth, liver, and intestines.
  • No bones for dogs with stomach issues. It can cause diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. 
  • Don’t give your dog a bone in front of another dog. Be careful. Even friendly dogs can be very protective of their treats. 
Puppy eating a rib bone

Can Dogs Have Rib Bones? 

Whether that’s a good idea varies from dog to dog. It depends on several factors you need to consider:

  • Pay attention to the type of rib. Some, like pork ribs, are significantly less dense than the ones from deer, elk, or cow. 
  • Pick a rib for your pet’s size. A pork rib bone for dogs may be a perfect fit if they’re the size of a German Shepherd, but it’s not appropriate for canines as large as a Great Dane. 
  • Why do your dogs eat rib bones? Is it a meal or recreational activity? A Chihuahua would have a hard time consuming a pork or beef rib for a meal because it’ll struggle to break the bone. But that same treat may serve as a great recreational chew.

Are Chicken Bones Safe? 

Raw chicken bones are entirely safe to feed under supervision. That said, it’s best to freeze them two weeks before feeding, as that would kill more than 90% of the bacteria.

Can dogs eat rib bones and chicken? Chicken bones are an excellent starter for puppies and smaller dogs. Still, be careful since cooked bones are the most common to have around the house or the trash can, and you shouldn’t feed your dogs with them. 

If you don’t have any chicken available, you could also add eggs to your pet’s diet for protein but you should learn how to prepare them for your dog. 

Other Raw Meaty Bones

A safe raw bone should have some meat on it, as it not only provides nutrients but it also makes it easier for your pet to crunch it down and swallow it.

So, can dogs only eat rib bones? There are other dog-friendly options. All of them are soft, and your furry pal won’t struggle to chew them.

Here are a few more safe bone choices:

  • Wings
  • Feet
  • Necks
  • Frames
  • Tails

What’s the Right Bone for Your Dog’s Size?

Next time you’re feeding your four-legged friend a bone, compare it to the size of its teeth and jaw. It should be bigger than that. 

So, can small dogs eat rib bones or any other bone? Again, it depends on their size. Here are some examples:

  • Puppies and small dogs: chicken and duck wings, chicken necks, whole quail, whole cornish hen, chicken and duck feet, rabbit’s front feet, and ribs. 
  • Medium dogs: All bones above plus duck necks and heads, rabbit legs and frame, chicken heads and frame, small turkey necks, pork tales, and lamb ribs. 
  • Large do giant dogs: All bones above plus turkey wings and feet, pork trotters and ribs, lamb ribs, and wild venison ribs. 

Bones You Should Avoid

Just like you can, dogs eat rib bones and get all sorts of benefits and nutrients from them. But not all bones are created equal, and some are even dangerous for your pet. For instance:

  • Machine cut bones: They have sharp edges and can cause injury. One example is pork chops with bones included. If you buy them, make sure to remove the bone and feed only the muscle meat. 
  • Dense and weight-bearing bones: These come from cows and deers and include some turkey bones, like drumsticks and drumettes. If you want to feed them to your dog, ground them up and mix them with muscle meat. But skip the beef rib bones for dogs. 
  • Cooked, boiled, or smoked bones. No need to put your furry best friend at risk.

Exception: The only time weight-bearing bones can be beneficial is when they’re big enough so that the dog can chew but not swallow them. That way, they can help clean your pet’s teeth. While pulling and ripping the flesh off, the teeth rub against the bone and remove tartar. 

Remember always to supervise this activity and remove the bone once all the meat is gone. Also, make sure you know the other common foods that dogs shouldn’t eat.

Dog eating a big bone as a recreational chew

How Much Bone Should You Give to Your Pet?

Talking about ribs for dogs or any other meaty bones, you should always keep in mind the percentage of bone your pet consumes. 

No worries, you should just calculate how many ribs are ok for your dog. It’s pretty simple. Let’s say you’re feeding your pet 10 oz of food daily. Then, 10%, or 1 oz of that, needs to be raw meaty bone. 

How do we calculate that?

If you have some chicken feet, weigh them up, and find out their average bone percentage. Then, multiply the weight of the chicken foot by the percentage of its bone content.

Wrap up

All in all, you should always supervise your dog when eating raw food, especially if it’s something new to your pet. Consider the ribs’ source, along with your dog’s size, behavior, and habits. 

So, can dogs eat rib bones? 

Yes, and you can now do a better job of picking the right ones for your pet. We hope this information will make you think carefully about the food you give to your pet and its nutritional properties.